Mark G. Davis memorial exhibition

Month long art exhibit

Mark Garner Davis: husband, father, friend, and teacher. Unfortunately, the world lost Davis last year and the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Art Gallery has set up an exhibit in his remembrance. 

As a painter and a lover of art, his students, friends, and family decided that the  art he had previously shared with them should be shared with the world. This showcase is a month long art show displaying his works. 

“In 1899, Tarleton had one art class, in the late 1960s early 70s, Mark came. He founded the art program and he was here for 47 years before he retired and passed away last year,” Operations manager for the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center, Lori LaRue disclosed. 

Davis was remembered as a giver, especially through his artwork. As a painter, he shared many of his paintings with his friends and family. They took part by donating the artwork they have received for the show. His work featured strong elements of texture, bright colors, and lines. As he lived in a rural area, he aspired to paint what he saw and felt. Many of the works feature skeletons of lizards, hidden elements, animals such as roadrunners, buffalo, and antelopes. 

On Sunday, August 21, 2022 a reception was held for his memorial service with his friends, colleagues, and students which was open to the public. They gathered and spoke about how Davis impacted their lives and viewed his works. 

“His work is all around the country… he was always such a giver, he loved to teach,” LaRue shared. 

The wall of paintings is accompanied by quotes from Davis that show off his personality. According to Larue, everyone has a famous Mark Davis quote. When going through the exhibit, it is easy to get a feel for his personality. In LaRue’s words, he is weird, but still his love for what he does draws people in. 

“I am not an artist, I am an art teacher… All you’ve got to do is move the paint around…If at first you don’t succeed, so much for skydiving,” famous words from Mark Davis. 

Thanks to the tireless efforts of theater major Carol Stavish, who set up all of the artwork and wrote the quotes, we are able to view his legacy. Professor Chris Ireland assisted by arranging to borrow the artwork. Over a couple of days, Stavish set up everything to remember her dear friend. 

One piece that is featured in the exhibit signed Mark Garner Davis ‘01, showcases the way lines assist in the beauty of a piece. The blend of colors and patterns make it an eye opening piece from first sight. When inspecting closely, one can see how textured this piece is from the stroke of the brush to the thickness of the paint. What really makes this painting shine is the use of bright striking colors, the mixture as well as how they are used cohesively. 

Adjacent to the aforementioned piece, there is a piece called “Mark Garner Davis ‘98” that features vibrant maroon colors. Three distinct deer-like animals take the helm, with white and tan drip circles surrounding them. The enigma of this piece makes one study this piece closely. It is easy to want to scan this piece for hidden or intricate, yet bold elements endlessly. 

One of the most textured and dramatically intriguing pieces are located on the back wall and signed Mark Davis ‘85. Upon first detection, one may assume that it is simply a pattern piece. Although, with closer inspection, one can discover hidden elements. It may seem overwhelmed with squiggly lines and the antelope-like animal. However, scattered throughout the extreme texturism of this piece hidden in almost plain sight elements are visible. His personality shines through with the keys and lizards, and his talent shines through the cleverly placed elements such as the squares and various quiet toned antelopes. 

Another piece that showcases the power of lines and complementary colors is signed Mark Garner Davis ‘96. The bluish addition to the yellow background gives the underwater effect and paints the scene for what Davis may have felt. Inside, one is able to view some of his commonly used elements, such as the crosses and squares. 

Directly outside of the gallery is an enclosed case full of Mark Davis memorabilia, like his coat, hat, paintbrushes, and additional paintings. Another case has pictures of him, sculptures, and his guns. The art program who missed him dearly showcased his work to honor all that he has done and demonstrate his impact on the art program as well as their lives. 

The Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center Art Gallery presents the Mark Davis Memorial Art Exhibit. This exhibit is to honor and remember the impact the founder and the former director for 47 years had on the modern Tarleton art program. It is open to students as well as the public for free, located in the gallery of the fine arts building. The art gallery will host many and varied exhibits in the near future and urge students to visit. This is the first and only year they have this memorial exhibit and the gallery is open. 

This exhibit opened August 18, 2022 and will close September 25, 2022 at 5 p.m. Do not miss out on this spectacular and heartfelt exhibit. For more information on Mark Davis or the exhibit, contact operations manager Lori LaRue at [email protected]